01 December 2010

Word Problem

If this nutritional info is off the back of ONE POUND of shrimp, and we all understand and accept that ONE POUND is 16 ounces, well then, what is wrong here?!

29 November 2010

Hipsta-rized Evening Meal

Misoshiru (cabbage, wakame, renkon, carrots)
Tsukune in Teriyaki sauce (recipe from "Everyday Harumi")
Daikon Salad (dressing by Yukako-San)
Gyoza by Toko-San (not pictured)

Things I like lately, Which you may have already picked up on:
Random Capitalization
Hipstamatic App for iPhone

Wasabi Kit Kat

Wasn't as nasty as it sounds. But I can't actually recommend it to you either....

19 November 2010



14 November 2010


Just want to report that today, I had Cornflakes and Whole Milk for breakfast.

I roasted a whole chicken's parts in Asian flavors, per Mark  Bittman's recipe, but I served it to Aogu and the girls with rice and stir fried soy sauce bean sprouts.  I myself ate lunch at church, Papa John's pizza, veggies and chocolate chip cookie. 

Quesadillas, rice, beans, carrots and broccoli were our dinner.  Oops, I forgot to insert random Capitalization in that last sentence.  Hmm.  I hope the state of gustatory affairs around here improves tomorrow.  Good night. 

13 November 2010

Apple Cake

For Izumi's half birthday. Recipe here. Guess I don't hate baking even if I'm in a cooking slump (it's for real, I even planned dinner tonight, then couldn't force myself to make it and dished up a bunch of leftovers instead!). Anybody know a good half birthday song? Trying to modify the original was awkward.

10 November 2010


Here's the thing, and be prepared to be shocked:

I don't like to cook anymore. 

That sounds so final and sad and strange, but for now, it's true.  I never thought this would happen to me, but it has.  Maybe it was going to Japan and eating out or having others cook for me for two weeks straight, and now I just can't get into the groove though we've been back for three weeks. 

Maybe it just finally feels like more work than it's worth, though why I should feel that way now (or maybe this phrase will help me understand my feelings: 19 month old toddler) is a bit of a mystery. 

Anyway, so, I haven't really cooked at all, by my standards of cooking, for ages now.  I'm still slapping food on the table when it's called for but I'm not enjoying the process.  Wah.  Or, maybe this is a good thing and will give me the interest/motivation that's been missing from my so-called weight loss efforts?  Maybe?

09 November 2010

Enviable Kids Menu

Koji ordered this from the kids' menu of a restaurant we went to in Japan. 
I wish the kids' menus here had this set as an option!

08 November 2010

Now Available at Target

But I'd much rather be doing the Tim Tam Slam in Boonah with Bex.

05 November 2010

Get a Big Bottle of Soy Sauce

'cause you're going to need it to braise chicken with this Chinese style recipe that I got from Quick & Easy Recipes from the NY Times .  Sorry no picture, this was not a photogenic dish.  I'm realizing most of my favorite dishes aren't very pretty. 

But, it was quick, easy and tasty so I'll definitely be making it again.   Below is my approximation of the recipe, because I am much too lazy to get up and grab the book. 

Soy Braised Chicken, Chinese Style
Boil 1 1/2 cups soy sauce, 1 1/2 cups sake, 1 cup water, 1/2 cup sugar (I used brown) and 3 Tablespoons of Grated Ginger.  Drop in 1 whole chicken (I used four breasts, cut in half for eight pieces) and boil for 10 minutes.  Turn off the heat and let sit for 15 minutes, then serve (do I have to say "with rice"?!).  Add root veges as it pleases you (I added onion and turnips). 

04 November 2010

All Thanks to Koji's Teachers

Koji's school was so kind as to plan a jack-o-lantern party for us last week. If they hadn't hauled the pumpkins and the carving utensils and the garbage bags and the newspapers into the classrooms, and then if they had not decided what time I should be there...well, then, I don't think we would have carved a pumpkin this year.
So thanks to their efforts, we did it! In case you aren't clear, the extra holes on either side of the eyes are for laser shooting, and the other long diagonal hole is Mr. Pumpkin's walkie-talkie. Oh yes, watch out if you meet Mr. Pumpkin in a dark alley. And you just might, we put him out there yesterday since he was getting moldy.
The food related bit of all this is that I saved the seeds, brought them home and then soaked and roasted them according to this recipe. I did a cinnamon sugar version, and they are pretty tasty! Worth the battle with Mr. Pumpkin, to carve him up into the fine specimen he is. Er, was.

03 November 2010

Why Is This Monstrous Dessert Called "Honey Toast"

when it should be called "Honey Half Loaf of Bread"?! Enjoyed a couple weeks ago at a karaoke place in Ikebukuro with Fumi and Naoko.

02 November 2010

In Which I Talk About Dinner, But Can't Be Bothered to Show You a Photo

Or maybe it's just that I didn't take one.
Maybe I know that what we ate wasn't particularly photogenic.
And it's not like it hasn't been pictured and mentioned here before.
In fact, I don't think I'm going to tell you what it was.
I'll just let you guess.
Ready, go!

17 July 2010

Reunion Food

'Tis the season of old friends coming in town to visit.  Never thought I'd say this, but it's almost as good as traveling, because no packing is involved.  For me, at least.  And I love to travel, but HATE to pack.  Perhaps that's because I don't care to plan ahead or make decisions, unless and until utterly forced to.  Hmm.  How's adulthood working out for me, then?...that's another post for another day. This here post is about today and the barbeque we went to that allowed us to visit with lovely friend Jenny and her seven (soon to be eight) person crew.  The usually painful moment of narrowing to one from countless options of "what dish to contibute" was made painless by this delicious and extremely appropriate for a hot day kind of recipe.  I know, all those words should have had dashes between them, but I just couldn't be bothered.  Try this recipe.  And try reuniting with old friends.  They are both delicious. 

10 July 2010

Dangerous Cereal

Awhile back, I bought a ginormous box of cereal at Costco. An utterly unsurprising announcement, I know. It was a cinnamon crunch cereal and cocoa pop combination box, and that is why I bought it, because I am sucker for variety. Sidenote: this is one reason why I find it challenging to lose weight. Dr. Oz says that eating the same thing all the time is less tempting. But it's also more boring.

Not wanting to be boring, but also wanting to use up the huge bag of cocoa pop cereal in my pantry, I found the following recipe. Warning, this is SOO good and will utterly throw your diet off the rails! Only make it if you have others to share it with! One last sidenote, because my brain is full of them: yesterday when I was at wally world, I found this snack. I was appalled. Yes, it looks delicious, but if I'm going to eat chocolate coated cereal, I need to earn the right to do so by at least making it myself. What can I say, I have a lot of rules.


1/4 c. instant malted milk powder
3 tbsp. milk
1/4 c. light corn syrup
1 tbsp. margarine
5 c. Cocoa Puffs cereal
1-1/2 c. milk chocolate chips

Heat malted milk powder and milk in 3-quart saucepan over low heat, stirring constantly until slightly thickened. Stir in corn syrup and margarine. Heat to boiling, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Stir in chocolate chips until melted. Quickly stir in cereal, 2 1/2 cups at a time, until it is all covered. From here, my changes: Press the mixture onto a cookie sheet covered with parchment paper or a nonstick baking liner. Freeze for at least 30 minutes, then cut or break for serving and eating. Original recipe called for 36 servings. I was able to get more by cutting small pieces for sharing and saving large chunks for myself.

I found this recipe here but felt free to copy it; apparently no one has added to (or looked at?!) this discussion thread since 2005.

05 July 2010

Kimchi Tofu Soup

Last week when I was at the Asian market, I found myself tempted by the kimchi tofu soup. Soup, though...same predicament as when I order in a restaurant. Ordering/buying food I think I can make is against my personal code, most of the time. So I decided not only to make my own soup, but to ask the lady behind the counter how to do it.

She was adamant on the following: must take the amount of kimchi you need for the soup and leave it outside for three days. Then proceed with your cooking.

Um, OK.

The world of fermentation is new to me. So those directions FREAKED ME OUT and that is why I smiled at her, bought the large jar of kimchi she recommended and then looked at this recipe for inspiration and made my soup as follows:

Saute one large onion and one cup of kimchi in a bit of sesame oil. When the onion has softened, add five cups of dashi broth (or five cups of water and the corresponding amount of dashi powder) and bring to a boil. Throw in one cut up chicken breast (or, as in the second time I made it, one can of tuna) and lower the heat to a simmer. After five minutes or so, add a couple of tablespoons of miso paste and any amount of tofu. I LOVE this over a scoop of rice.

11 June 2010

M Henry in Edgewater

With Penny and no kids. Blackberry bliss cakes are just that!

17 May 2010

Much to My Surprise

In the interim since the last time Hijiki made an appearance, Koji
jumped the fence and now eats it without a fuss?! Phew~ served with
braised/stirfried carrots and zucchini, rice and instant shrimp wonton
soup fancied up with green onions and tofu.

15 May 2010


パイきじを使わないけど、フルーツを少し甘くして焼くデザートなので「パイ」に比べてもいいでしょう。英語名は”Apple Crisp" と言います。ところでりんごだけじゃなくパイにできる果物ならなんでも可能、たとえばチェリー、桃、洋梨、ブルーべり、アプリコット、ルバーブ(Rhubarb)と苺などです。作ってみてください~

果物 5カップ (皮をむいて一口の大きさに切る)
砂糖 大さじ2-4(好みで果物に混ぜる。りんごには入れなかった)

オートミール 0.5カップ
ブラウンシュガー 0.5カップ
小麦粉 0.25カップ
シナモンかナツメッグかパウダーしょうが 小さじ0.25

バッター 0.25カップ
ナッツかココナッツ 0.25カップ


08 May 2010

Cafe Romanza

has tasty, spicy mentaiko spaghetti but watch out! Even at lunch, you
will be charged the dinner price!

23 April 2010


Is the term I coined today. It means that I am the sort of person who
gains energy by cooking.

22 April 2010

The Kids Made Dinner

Sort of, I cut the cucumbers and got out the pizza toast ingredients,
but otherwise it was all them!

15 April 2010

Obento for Four


13 April 2010

Koji's Obento on the First Day of First Grade

Rice, okaka furikake, turkey, water, broccoli, strawberries, cookie
from Ikea

17 February 2010


To celebrate the birthdays of Koji and eight of his school friends this afternoon at a party, I served Redemption Cupcakes.

No one there knew that they were eating anything other than yellow(whole wheat) cupcakes topped with Strawberry Cloud Cream. But when they (mamas in particular) took a bite, then another, smiled and said, "Oishii! (Delicious)" I felt curiously redeemed.

Just Friday last week, I proudly appeared at the school bake sale with pineapple cake, oreo truffles and lemon cookies with King Arthur Flour lemon powder. Alas, I did not appear with any of the above items individually wrapped in cutesy packages. ARGH. Conveniently, or devastatingly, I forgot the high value that many (most? nearly all?!) Japanese people place on packaging. There was no clamoring happening near the plates I plunked down. Perhaps it was the final straw after a long week that didn't go as expected on several fronts but I was devastated.

You may think I'm over dramatic, and I know I can be, but in this case, my turn of phrase is accurate: I really was so disappointed at the utter lack of interest in what I had made, and I (briefly, till I cried it out that night?!) crossed the line to devastation. Guess I allowed myself to identify a little too closely with my baked goods, which is why I was relieved and comforted today, back in the place where the ladies like my cake.

Several pertinent notes:
*I didn't take a picture of the so-called Redemption Cake; it was actually cupcakes and they consisted of the parts mentioned above.
*This morning Koji said that he wanted a cookie with his name on it in addition to a cupcake (he's not as randomly demanding as that sounds, in the past when we ordered a birthday cake from a bakery, there were several personalized cookies balanced on top). He wanted to recreate that experience, and the above is what I came up with.
*Finally, I want to note that though my emotions over baked goods are described above, what I long for is to be identified and founded on Jesus, not the popularity of my homemade treats. Obviously, I need some work in this area, and perhaps that's the reason for this incident?

25 January 2010

Happy New Year

"What New Year are YOU talking about?" you may wonder. "The one that started TWENTY FIVE DAYS ago?!"

Yep. That's the one. And I do know full well that 2010 started 25 days ago. But I'd like to ride the Japanese tradition that dictates greeting people with "Happy New Year" the first time you meet them after the new year starts. I've explained this custom to various people and received some smart a@#$% responses, like, "what if you don't see someone until December 31st, are you still going to say it?!"

Ha. I don't know that there is a cut off for when you give up on saying happy new year because you are too far removed from January 1st. I'm thinking the end of January sounds reasonable.

Which means it is OK for me to kick off my blogging for 2010 here and now, better on January 25th than December 31st, right?!

And now that it's a new year, I probably need a new focus for this blog. I still want it to be about cooking, baking and food, but I'm not at all confident in my ability to report daily on what we had for dinner.

However, since I haven't decided what my new focus should be, I'll stick with my old (ancient?) plan, for today, and tell you that we had farfalle with tomato sauce, shrimp and broccoli tonight.

The least I can do with this space is show you what a cute kitchen helper I have...if anyone is still reading this (Laurs? Mom? Grandma?) and has ideas/feedback about my new but still nebulous focus, please make a comment. Thanks!